Calvin Harris | Bowery Ballroom | 4.28.2008

Calvin_bowery_spookyghostI really try not to be some sort of elitist, but the my elitism kicks in and I get annoyed. The crowd for Calvin Harris at Bowery was overrun with creased-brim ballcap bros and girls who looked like Heidi Montag? Had I somehow accidentally ended up at a Webster Hall club night? The opening DJ, Burns, made it seem like it, playing a predictable set that included "DVNO," "The Music Sounds Better With You," "Robot Rock," and Mylo’s "Drop the Pressure." What fresh hell was this?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised Calvin Harris is popular beyond higher-than-thou types like myself. His songs are big, obvious dance tracks, made for maximum enjoyment and butt-shaking. Why would I be the only one to like it? Still, the bankers-n-babes crowd was annoying. But it all pretty much went away when Calvin took the stage. He’s a 6′ 5" party machine with a tight band and everyone pretty much ate it up. (I think last year’s show at Mercury Lounge was better, though. Again, the elitism.) There was a little too much crowd-pumping for my taste ("Come on New York!"), especially when it seemed people were pretty pumped as it was.

Save for four songs we got all of I Created Disco plus two new songs that seem like Calvin’s work with Kylie and Roisin Murphy has rubbed off on him. "Back Door" and "Jerusalem" were full-on Eurodisco, complete with sweeping strings and Haddaway-style piano and if the crowd’s reaction to them was any indication, just might kill off the jock-jam loving portion of his American fanbase. Bring it on.

Setlist: Conjoined Skin | Certified | Disco Heat | This Is The Industry | 80s | Merrymaking at My Place | Neon Rocks | Back Door | Jerusalem | Colours | Vegas. I
Created Disco | The Girls

MP3: Calvin Harris – Disco Heat
(buy I Created Disco)

Also in attendance: The Music Slut, Punk Photo, and Disconap.

I wasn’t really close enough to get good pictures, but I do like the one I took found above. Calvin’s all a blur but right in the middle of it is a clear-ish shot that looks like he’s staring straight at the camera. Spooky.


  1. bankers-n-babes, ha ha. yeah, I kind of figure the show would be that, I had to pass because I have a full slate this week.

  2. webster hall club night–lol!
    i'm always curious how well music like his translates to the live setting. when one guy makes it for the most part in his bedroom (or so he says), how does he make it come alive?
    i also identify with your elitist fears. i find myself going to smaller and smaller shows and the thought of seeing someone uber-popular at some large venue just doesn't appeal to me at all. not that the bowery is a huge venue, but hopefully you know what i mean.

  3. Crap, I wanted to go to this show…
    …But then I forgot about it and went out for ramen that night instead. Need to figure out my priorities better.
    Ah well, thanks for the recap! Maybe I'll get another chance in the future. 🙁

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